The Office in Your Pocket: Apps for Working with Documents On The Go

You’ve got a report to write or a proposal to send to a client, but you’re on a train without your laptop. What can you do?

Rather than wait until you’re sitting comfortably in your office chair, get out your phone or tablet and head to the app store. Several apps enable you to work on anything you need to, wherever in the world you are; the airport, the train, the beach…you name it. Even if the internet isn’t available, these apps allow work to be created when you’re offline, and then it syncs later on when it connects to a network. Don’t worry about having to transfer documents back and forth between devices either; the cloud ability on most apps will allows your docs to be wherever you are, on whatever you’re using. Check out some of our current favorites.

Google Docs

If you use the free Google Drive storage service, you'll also have access to Google Docs. It is a free office suite that allows users to create and then edit documents, with their three main services: Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides. You can access all of them online, as Chrome (Google) apps that work when offline, as well as mobile apps that work on both Android and iOS.

All files are compatible with Microsoft Office files, allowing files to be saved and imported into Google Docs from Microsoft. The whole system is very tightly aligned with Google Drive; all files created using any of the documents are saved to your Google Drive account, ideal for keeping everything synced. If you use the docs online, you can view and edit alongside a team member which is great if you work with virtual team members around the world, or if your colleague is elsewhere at the time. A revision history of all documents is also saved to go back to any old versions at any time.

Documents To Go

Documents To Go is one of the original document creation tools for working on the go. Completely free, it connects to multiple cloud storage solutions to sync your work across all of your devices. Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents can be viewed and edited, and Adobe PDF files can be viewed. All three are known as Word To Go, Sheet To Go, and SlideShow To Go.

With Word To Go, all documents can be formatted, images and tables inserted and words counted. Similar features are available on Sheet to Go, allowing you to freeze and sort panes, format cells and numbers, hide and unhide rows and columns and rename and insert new worksheets. SlideShow to Go allows formatting directly in the slides, photos to be inserted, speaker notes added and slides sorted where needed.

The app is free, but add ins can be purchased such as password protections and the ability to sync to your desktop.


If you're a user of the iPhone or iPad, iWork is an ideal solution to creating documents on the go. It contains 'Pages', 'Numbers', and 'Keynote', which all contain tools to create fantastic looking documents, presentations and spreadsheets.

Pages is a word processor that allows you to create and write any document – such as a report, a CV or meeting preparation - fast and easily, and make it look good too. You can choose to create a blank document or use an existing template which you can then customise. Fonts and styles can be changed, photos or charts added, grammar and spelling checked, and much more.

When your document is finished, it is saved and synced with all devices (when in signal), and you can share your document with anyone too - even if they don't use Apple devices. This is great when sharing or collaborating on a work document. 'Pages' documents can also be saved as 'Microsoft Word' document, and Word Documents can be imported directly into pages too.

'Numbers' allows you to create spreadsheets, either blank or with a template. Tables can be added that are already pre-built, charts created that are interactive, as well as images too. Your data won't just be numbers anymore; it will look good. It supports over 250 functions, so complex calculations can be performed. 'Keynote' allows you to create presentations easily and quickly. There are 30 themes to use, or start from scratch. You can add photos or videos and charts to make your presentation as beautiful and informative as possible.

Just like pages, Numbers and Keynotes are synced with all devices and can be shared with anyone. You can also save as and import as Microsoft Excel or PowerPoint. Pages, Numbers and Keynote cost $9.99 each, however if you buy an Apple device new, they will come included with the device.


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